Feb 10, 2014

When food falls off your pantry shelves..

..you realize you need to make a change. Over the past month, I've been working on organizing our whole apartment. I didn't care much about it last year because I wasn't sure where we'd be living this year. Now that I know we'll be living here until at least the end of Summer next year. Knowing we won't be packing up for quite awhile, I want to put some effort into how things look. It was going really well until I got that new job. Then every day when I got off work, I just wanted to sit and snuggle my Gage. When I ended up with a four day weekend, I knew it was time to get stuff done. I'd gotten all the closets but the pantry and our basement closet cleaned out before I started my job. I'm really embarrassed to show you how messy I've let our pantry get. We bought this shelving not realizing that the slotted shelves would make it a hassle to stack things. Eventually they just started getting piled on top of each other.

I was tired of things falling off the shelf constantly or not being able to find something I knew I had. Worse yet, I ended up with doubles of certain things because I thought I'd run out when really it was just buried. Originally I wanted skinny, woven baskets to organize the shelves. I checked a few places online but Target was the only one that had something similar to what I was looking for. I was not willing to pay the price for each basket separately so I looked for a different option.

I needed some larger storage tubs for our basement so I checked Walmart for those. They had a sale after Christmas so I was hoping to grab some of those. I discovered some Sterilite containers that I really liked. I found some with lids for smaller items and larger ones that were more like baskets. I ended up getting four or five different sizes to cover all of my needs. They are clear with a lime green handles. I wasn't a fan of the green but I can always spray paint those if I get sick of them!

I headed to Hobby Lobby after to pick up some labels. I spotted these chalkboard labels and with my love for chalkboards, I knew it was meant to be! I grabbed three different styles to use in different parts of the apartment. I already had some chalk on hand from other chalkboard endeavors. I just slapped the repositionable stickers on the side and wrote what was in each box. So far I haven't really smudged the labels but I think I'm going to look for some wet-erase chalk pens so I don't have to worry about it.

I was amazed at how much crap accumulated in there since we moved in August. There was some pretty outdated stuff that went straight into the trash. I was a little ashamed when I realized how much junk/processed food we had in there as well. Once all that stuff is gone, I'm going to be filling the tubs back up with healthier foods. 

My personal favorite tubs.. Chocolate gets it's own tub because I've got way too much of it. I need to pick up another container for the rest of our candy. Oops!

I'm really happy with how it all turned out! It's been so much easier to cook because I know where to look for something now. I think it will make meal planning easier as well because I will be able to better keep track of what we have and what we need. Now to organize the basement..

How do you organize your closets? Do you know of any wet-erase chalk pens that work well?



  1. I was going to offer to take the skittles off your hands, but they disappeared in the after pics, so I can't help you there. Your doing great, keep it up.

  2. Whoa quite the transformation! I use plastic totes and tubs all the time in our closets and cupboards. I love the idea for the chalkboard labels so you could change it up if you need to!

  3. You actually inspired me to clean my pantry tonight!

    Congrats on the new job BTW!

  4. look at you go! and holy big bag of skittles, please share! :)

  5. ummmm, I just encountered this same problem and while I feel like I've sort accomplished something with an re-organization....I really like some of your ideas. You did great!!

  6. I have the same looking pantry, but my problem is my husband. He goes in there and snacks several times a day and NEVER puts it back where I had organized it. So instead of fighting it, I have learned to accept it, and we just overhaul it once a month. I love your style with the chalk labels though!


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